Some days I didn’t want to get out of bed

Some days I didn’t want to get out of bed.

The alarm would go off, and I would think, do I HAVE to wake up?

I’m tired.

I don’t want to cook the family breakfast.

Do I have to work today?

One morning, I woke from a dream where I had created street art from homeless people’s signs.

For years I thought about it.

But it remained only an idea.

Finally, one day, I drove to downtown Chicago.

I walked the streets and approached the homeless.

I explained that I was creating a street art piece.

I offered to buy their sign.

Most joyfully traded me their sign for the cash.

Others struggled to decide.

Giving up their sign meant searching for supplies to create a new one.

With each encounter, I learned about their backgrounds.

I heard stories from veterans with PTSD, tragic deaths of family members, and lost jobs.

The experience had a profound impact on me.

I took the signs home and assembled them into a 6 ft x 4 ft collage that I call Gratitude.

The artwork hangs in my bedroom.

It’s the first thing I see every morning.

Now when I wake up, I remember the stories I heard.

I imagine what the people behind those signs would do to wake up healthy with family and a job.

If I struggle with motivation, I remind myself that I don’t HAVE to wake up.

I GET to wake up.

There is Much to be Grateful For Just Open Your Eyes

Christian Banach

Christian Banach

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